More Weird Lessons in Staging

I thought I’d seen and read enough about staging to know that depersonalization is the key — you want the house you’re selling to speak to almost anyone, or at least to the most predominant tastes.

That’s why one of the first things a professional stager will do, in helping you prepare a house for sale, is to take down all the family photos. Never mind how warm and lived in they make a house — they also remind buyers that it’s your house. You want instead to seed buyers’ imaginations regarding how great their lives will be when it’s their house.

Given all that, I was surprised, when recently touring a new condo for sale,  to see this photo in one of the bedrooms:
Who’s this kid?

As I mentioned, the condo was new, so he certainly didn’t belong to the owners. “They forgot to take the sample out of the frame,” commented another visitor. Maybe — but don’t those samples usually contain info about the frame size and manufacturer? Not to mention that this kid has that classic inter-ethnic, united colors of whoziwhat look that every marketer strives to portray these days.

So this was a conscious act by the stager. I guess we’re supposed to imagine not only living in the glorious new luxury condo, but doing so with this handsome, polite, universally lovable child. (He’s wearing a tie, for heaven’s sake!)

And who knew, this may be part of a new staging trend?! HGTV’s Debra Gould, in her recent list of “4 Silly Home Staging Ideas to Avoid,” put fake-o photos at the top of the list.  Apparently, she’s even seen cases of where the sellers put up photos of celebrities. Way to make the buyers roll their eyes. . . .